Skip to comments.New threats push need for intelligence, DIA director says
Posted on 09/16/2012 7:05:19 AM PDT by SandRat
FORT HUACHUCA - The tips of fingers are sensitive, they can tell much to a person about what is felt and, in the world of intelligence gathering, ascertaining the intentions of an enemy many times requires a slight touch, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency said last week.
Its pretty stunning how far the intelligence community has come. How integrated we are. How interagency dependent we are, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said Wednesday.
But in a constantly changing, violent-prone world, those engaged in intelligence work not only have to be current but be ahead of interpreting potential changes, said Flynn who assumed the DIAs top job in July.
The day before he spoke with the Herald/Review, an attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya killed the U.S. ambassador and three of his staff members.
Flynn said what happened in Libya is one of the many challenges we are facing today.
However, because the incident was recent, he declined to speak specifically about it.
This particular incident is very tragic and it still is obviously being addressed by our national leadership and I will not talk about any specifics, he said.
Today unlike past
What he and other senior American intelligence leaders, military and civilians, are facing in the now and may come up against in the future is ever changing, he said.
The challenges we are facing in the global environment we are in, are much different than when I first came into the Army as a young officer, Flynn said.
Those days, three decades ago the focus was on the Cold War and the Soviet Union, the general said.
It was a time when training and war games were based on large-scale combat operations, he said,
The changes that have occurred in areas of operations we find ourselves in are immense, the DIA director said, adding The increased demand for intelligence is unprecedented and right now I see only an increase for even more and better intelligence in the future.
Noting DIA is the only national intelligence function with the word defense as part of its title many others have national as part of their title Flynn said Its pretty stunning how far the intelligence community has come, how integrated we are, how interagency and interdependent we are.
The importance of Americas intelligence system is that it provides the nation with a strategic advantage, he said.
Intel best focused
The intelligence community has come a long way in the past 30 years, the general exclaimed.
However, it constantly requires work to ensure it is always relevant, he quickly added.
The advantage is when it is focused, prioritized and applied appropriately, Flynn said.
Noting the DIA is a joint organization so much so if all the military wore the same uniform it would be difficult to tell who is a soldier or Marine, airman or Coast Guardsman he said the more than 20,000 strong organizations emphasis is on supporting those who are called to combat.
And that includes the 17,000 strong DIA workforce and its supporting 4,000 contractors, the director said.
His deputy is a civilian, whose home intelligence agency is the CIA, the director said.
Like many who served in different military organizations, Flynn said he too has served in many joint functions.
In fact in the past decade, eight of those years have been in joint assignments.
Saying the majority of the DIA force are civilians, Flynn noted when it comes to the military services, each branch brings unique abilities to DIA.
The Army brings analysis, targeting, human collection and counterintelligence, he said.
The Air Force intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, exploitation and dissemination and the Navy a critical understanding of allied and possible naval threats, Flynn said.
Looking at the different skills, what happens is when they are all blended it really strengthens our insight and knowledge of what we know about the threats we are facing out there today, he said.
Other partners too
Its not an all-American show, the general said.
The special U.S. agency involves close working relationship with other nations, he said.
We have special relationships with a number of countries, the DIA director said.
Some are strong partnerships with traditional allies and other nations who are part of the partnering include Vietnam, Jordan, Yemen and countries throughout Africa, he said.
The Jordanians help us out quite a bit with training in Jordan, Flynn said.
The military-to-military relationships are critical, he said, adding, the reliance on partnerships is really, really a big deal, he emphasized, noting in Afghanistan 49 nations have stepped up to help.
And the need for partners in the intelligence arena will increase, the DIA director said.
During his progression up the military senior leadership ladder, Flynn has seen intelligence both change and grow into a significant player in both the nations and worlds defense establishments.
Having served at senior intelligence positions involving Army and joint assignments, he said each assignment has helped him understand the successes and what needs to be done to improve the special area in which he works.
It also sparks a desire to continually improve how intelligence is obtained, analyzed and used.
Learning is critical
When he deployed to Afghanistan as the senior intelligence officer for the United States and the international coalition, Flynn said even he was surprised to realize he was not as knowledgeable about the country and its cultures. There are more than one culture in Afghanistan and each are widely different, he said.
There are Dari, Pushtan, Uzbek and even An Iranian society in Afghanistan, the general said, making the country in some cases difficult to understand.
What makes them tick, how do they communicate, how do they understand, were all questions he himself had.
The basics are known, but there are much more which need to be understood, Flynn said.
It means those who deployed to any country has to know more than the basic culture or some words in a language and thats why he sees more training as a requirement.
More cultural training is a must, the DIA director said, noting one of the main things he learned about the Afghans is they are a quality hard working people, Flynn said,.But they want the rest of the world to see their problems for what they are, Flynn said.
As for recent stories of the increase of Afghan military and police killing Americans and coalition forces, the general said the reemergence of the Taliban does not bode well for the country.
However, the 300,000 Afghans who are serving in the military and police are not the problem, but efforts have to be made to identify and ensure those under Taliban controlled are removed, he said.
Special DIA programs
The Defense Intelligence Agency is in charge of the U.S. defense attaché functions in every embassy, Flynn said,
Perhaps the largest is in Iraq which is staffed from between 20 and 30 people, he said.
Its a special career field, requiring extreme dedication because such individuals shape Americas understanding of the world, the DIA director said.
Another special DIA group is the Defense Clandestine Service which will be developing Americas understanding of what the U.S. may be facing in 2020, 2025 and 2030, Flynn said. Looking out into the future cannot be done a year from a target date, he added. DIA needs to be postured, the general said.
Exclaiming too often has been seen as the center of the sword instead of its edge, Flynn said.
That view has changed, he said adding, If I learned anything in my years in intelligence business its intelligence is better at the edge.
Perhaps coining a new word, globalness, Flynn said the days of one or few nations working together is over because everything now has a worldwide nexus.
Its an uncertain, complex world, he said.
Flynn returned to his finger tip analogy.
We have to have a much moiré finger tip for the environment we are operating within. We will do that through presence, we will do that with very well trained, sophisticated, well researched group of intelligence professionals, Flynn said.
Oh God. The head of the DIA hasn’t always been the sharpest tool in the shed. Just a tool.
I think this entire administration needs more intelligence.
They lack intellect.
...and 18 months as PVT E-2s in Afghanistan as 11Bs; no time in any garrison as a REMF.
Patraeus. Busy working on his book, I guess.
Maybe a little off topic. Are we ready to sing yet? I am, You Are, We Are Australian ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjkrjYitgeA&feature=related
Pipe up the Pipes, I’m ready for Scotland the Brave.
10 - 4
SCOTLAND THE BRAVE ~ PIPES & DRUMS ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSH0eRKq1lE
The Best Of Scottish Pipes & Drums ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HvPDBXMxAI&feature=related
Weelll, sign me up, Lord Vader. /s
They've got a 'group-think' going... that's always counterproductive... Having 50 people thinking the exact same thoughts or a thousand thinking the 'exact same thoughts' is a total waste of resources...
Who was the general who called a Florida minister the other day ... hoping to quell the ME problems - - brain-dead - totally brain-dead.
” I think this entire administration needs more intelligence.”
Found this one ... Hope you enjoy ... Includes an intoduction by Former President Reagan ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WETLPv6DuTA&feature=related